Out of Town

5 beautiful Lake District towns

The Lake District is England’s most mountainous region. Tourists flock here from all over the world to hike its peaks and enjoy some of the most spectacular views in the nation. However, the hidden towns that dot its rugged landscape are just as picturesque as the countryside settings that surround them.

During your stay, you’ll certainly want to view the glacial ribbon lakes and explore the rolling fell hills. Just make sure you don’t forget to check out these beautiful Lake District towns and villages along the way.


The picturesque village of Ambleside lies on the northern edge of Lake Windermere in the heart of the Lake District. The church’s gothic spire overlooks a maze of narrow streets lined with Victorian farmhouses and cottages. If you’re feeling a little parched, try a real ale or a cuppa at a traditional pub or tearoom. While you’re in Ambleside, you’ll undoubtedly want to relish the surrounding nature. Cruises, boat rides and canoeing are popular lake activities. If you’d prefer to view the lake, village and rolling hills from above, climb to the top of Loughrigg Fell.


With its cobbled streets, medieval squares and whitewashed cottages, the ancient township of Hawkshead is arguably the best Lake District destination for history buffs. But it’s also a hotspot for fans of Beatrix Potter. Visit the 17th-century Hill Top farmhouse to get a glimpse into the world of Beatrix Potter. After you’ve explored this renowned author’s former home, head to the Beatrix Potter Gallery to learn about her life.


Bowness is one of the most popular lakeside destinations in the Lake District. Bursting with antique stores, pubs, art galleries and boutique shops, this charming town has much more to offer than just water activities and hiking. Though it is one of the best places to stay if you want to take a cruise across Lake Windermere or follow the 72km hiking trail that surrounds it.


Due to its small size, Seatoller remains off the beaten path for most visitors. But with its dozens of hiking trails that traverse woodlands, pastures, and fells, this hamlet is one of the best Lake District destinations for adventurers. From here, you can ascend to the summit of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. Or, you can descend into the depths of a centuries-old mine by heading to Honister Slate Mine. For a romantic stroll, walk along the path beside the River Derwent until you reach the shores of the beautiful Derwentwater. You’ll be rewarded with superb views of Borrowdale Valley along the way.


What was once a centre for the woollen textile industry is now a thriving market town bursting with pubs, cafes, and shops. Thanks to its historical landmarks, an abundance of unique museums and architectural wonders, Kendal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Lake District.

Must-visit sights include the Kendal Parish Church, the Museum of Lakeland Life and the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology. We highly recommend viewing the works of art inside the Abbot Hall Art Gallery, which occupies a Georgian mansion, and the 13th-century castle. 

Remember, our Lake District Cruise with Afternoon Tea takes you to see Hawkshead and many of the area’s most stunning locations. Take a look for a simple, beautiful way to explore one of Britain’s true treasures.